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Hurrying a Client Along

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Most client meetings are fine, the usual pleasantries, down to business, and done. Some are more short & sharp, some are more relaxed and chatty.

 

There are a few though that just talk, and talk, and talk...the chatterboxes that just won't let you leave. There have been the odd few where I have put my coat on, opened the door myself, and started to walk away whilst waving goodbye, and they literally chase after me wanting to tell me something else!

 

Does anyone have any tips for getting away without being rude? Or would you simply just drive away mid-sentence as a last resort?

Replies (18)

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Scooby
By gainsborough
10th Mar 2021 12:37

I have one of those - I always have a (made up) appointment afterwards and mention this as soon as I walk in. Set your phone alarm if need be as a cue for you to stand up and walk (run?) away.

Also dial your voicemail for the walk to the car and make nodding motions :).

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Replying to gainsborough:
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By Paul Crowley
10th Mar 2021 13:00

Superb solution
Rude to be late to next
Less easy in the office

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
Scooby
By gainsborough
10th Mar 2021 18:45

Ah - in that case, I am usually expecting an important work call back, so would have to cut short the meeting at that point (it may possibly be a bribed husband calling me at that point!)

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By yelsnew
10th Mar 2021 12:51

We haven't had a sit down meeting for over 2 years now, that has helped a ton!
Everything is phone and email now.
You still get long email chains that can be avoided with phone calls and long phone calls that can be avoided with "I've got to go, let me check that and fire you an email over to confirm". Works a treat for us and always trying to improve. Meetings are toxic.

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By Truthsayer
10th Mar 2021 12:59

Just be curt if necessary. Cut people off mid-sentence to summarise what has been already said, and stop them repeating it, then move on to something else. Get control of the conversation, so you can end it when what needs to be said has been said. Avoid getting too friendly and chatty. I always have a clipboard with a ticklist of things to be discussed. Nobody gets control of a conversation better than someone armed with that.

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By Paul Crowley
10th Mar 2021 13:03

Depends on client
Had one practically scream at me recently because I kept interrupting the repeated twaddle.
I could not get out the ten or so words that was the resoloution to the issue

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By SXGuy
10th Mar 2021 13:37

Walk up to them, place your finger over their lips and silently say "shhhh"

OK maybe not.

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Replying to SXGuy:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
10th Mar 2021 13:56

Well surely when its back to face to face stuff you can get a mask and wrap it round their head. Maybe stuff one in their mouth first.

a nice high risk covidy one you wore to the supermarket.

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By mrme89
10th Mar 2021 14:59

People assume calculators and spreadsheets are the trusted friends of accountants.

Well, they’re wrong.

Take some gaffer tape into the meetings. When you’ve listened to enough, simply stick some over their mouth (and around their legs if they are the type to run after you) and walk out.

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Replying to mrme89:
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By Cheshire
10th Mar 2021 15:47

Dont really want to know what you get up to in your private life. ;-)

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By mrme89
12th Mar 2021 11:57

All kinds of weird s h I t.

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By Duggimon
10th Mar 2021 15:01

My meetings for the last year have all been over the phone. I'm now using a microphone and headphones plugged in to the computer so entirely hands free, I can let the client waffle on as long as they like while getting on with other work, then I can bill both the one on the phone and the one I'm working on and finish up early!

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By Moonbeam
10th Mar 2021 15:43

It's all about interrupting their flow and pointedly telling them that you've only got a limited amount of time and have to be out in half an hour. Then continually interrupting them if they ignore what you've said. You can be friendly and polite while you do this, but you do have to take the lead.

But I only take on people who don't need cattle herding. So I don't have this problem.

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By Cheshire
10th Mar 2021 15:49

Get someone to call you after a set time, bit like folk do for their pals on a blind date in case the date is a bit minging.

That and telling them you are charging for every 5 minutes often can stop the flow(not always guaranteed )

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By tracyannw
10th Mar 2021 18:17

We don't have much to thank this Pandemic for but at least it has meant less time with chatty clients, it is so much easier to end a phone call than it is a client sitting in front of you.

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Replying to tracyannw:
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By Rgab1947
12th Mar 2021 10:08

Yes surprising how bad the signal gets after 30 mins.

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@enanen
By enanen
12th Mar 2021 09:49

I swing my chair around from my desk and then ask 'So what are you doing the rest of the day?' Always works.

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By AS44NG
12th Mar 2021 23:42

We are going to do our utmost to NOT have meetings again, though I concede that there will be one or two exceptions.

The last 12 months have taught us that F2F meetings are almost always unnecessary.

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